So Debbie started off with Butterick #5557 to get a little dressy after-hours cocktail thing going on; we started off with the muslin.
Debbie is an advanced sewer, as is Tchad. Our friends, let us tell you that these inset neckline corners are no fun at all if your fabric is too smooth and/or dense. Debbie wanted to work this up in a medium weight satin, we dove in. The fit was great, although you really have to get those long side darts right or you will look ridiculous.
Debbie chose a medium weight red satin, not unlike what the model in the pattern book at the time was wearing. As it turns out, this was a slight miscalculation. The top itself came out fine, but it could have been a little more professional looking if we would have gone with a heavy silk shantung or wool crepe. Something that you can ease a little without getting weird puckers and stress points. If this same weight fabric were silk, it would have been a little easier, but only a little.
Because let us tell you: If you do not set those neckline bindings in perfectly, puckers at the corner are your future if your fabric is too sooth and robust. This was. We were fine with the result, and the bright lipstick red wows you into not noticing, but, girl… we notice.
Because the fabric both refused to ease and started to fray, we ended up cheating the binding slightly so they went in squarely but aren’t entirely properly mitered. This particular satin shows every single stress point when it comes to easing, so though it presses flat initially, it slowly seizes up and looks slightly rumpled like in the first two pictures. It ends up getting in to the territory we try to avoid around here: “Well, it’s… fine…”
The look of the finished piece, outside of any sewing issues is great, but those dolman sleeves without a shoulder seam give a lot of ease through the shoulders and upper chest that can’t be fitted out too much or the top would be unwearable. We removed a little because this is mainly for Debbie to stand and pose in, but this shape is definitely not for everyone.
And that’s about it! So rundown: We’d recommend against choosing a fabric this stable and dense and we’d definitely recommend that you run of a practice or two of those cornersin the same fabric if you are new to it or haven’t done it in a while.
And watch the fit. The design ease isn’t flattering (we would argue) to most figures through the upper bust and shoulders. It is a great look in general, but on a lot of shapes this combination of super-fitted torso and architectural neckline with more amorphous upper bust, upper arm, and shoulder won’t be.
You can read what everybody is saying about Butterick #5557 on Pattern Review.